Prostrollo Motors changes hands

Curt Nettinga of the Plainsman
Posted 9/2/23

Prostrollos becomes Olympic Motors

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Prostrollo Motors changes hands


HURON — “Hello, Olympic Motors, formerly known as Prostrollo Motors; how may I direct your call?”

Those few words mark the end of an automobile era in Huron, as the sale of Prost-rollo Motors became official this week

“Yes, it is a done deal,” said John Deniger, owner of Prostrollo Motors since he purchased the business from Pat Prostrollo. “I am staying on as the executive manager.

“Jerry Prostrollo opened his Madison dealership in 1957 - I was in grade school and I remember going to the open house!” he said. “I believe it was 1984 when he and his son Pat bought Al Hawks’ GM dealership here.” By that time, Deniger had married Laurie Prostrollo.

“They talked me into coming back from Alaska,” Deniger said, “Where I was a civil engineer with the Department of Energy, I guess that was a couple years after Pat bought Al out.” Deniger came back to South Dakota and became the finance person for the dealership. A short time later, Prostrollos purchased the dealership owned by Gene Osman and eventually moved to its present location.

“I purchased the Huron dealership from Pat and since then we have remodeled three times,” Deniger said, “expanding the footprint and adding the services that customers wanted. We have always been GM and that won’t change.”

Since purchasing, Deniger agreed there have been many changes in the automobile industry. “Vehicles were all rear-wheel drive and now nearly everything is either front wheel or all-wheel drive,” he said. “But nothing has changed auto sales more than the internet.”

“Not many people know that we were the first dealership in South Dakota to have a website,” he noted. “People today do a lot of research online and come in knowing what is in the inventory and what it is they are looking for.”

They new owners are not new to the auto sales genre, Deniger said, as they operate approximately 15 auto dealerships (Ford, Chrysler and Toyota) in Canada, based in Calgary.

He added that the group also has several outdoor motorsports (snowmobile, jet ski, boat) dealerships, although this will be the first General Motors dealership.

“It’s also only the second site in the U.S. - the other is a Ford and Toyota site in Pierre,” Deniger said. “They started working with Pierre about the same time as they did with us. It took a little over a year-and-a-half from the time we signed the purchase agreement back in 2021,” Deniger said.

More information on the new ownership group and its plans for the future will be coming, although Deniger said that he doesn’t foresee a big change happening. “The service part of the business and the body shop are very important to them and they seemed impressed in our departments when they came to visit.”

The biggest change however?

“I have gone from being the owner to being an employee,” Deniger said with a broad grin. “Now, I can quit whenever I want!”